Grit bags in the dog: are the skin knobs dangerous?

Grit bags in dogs are also known as semolina knots or atheroma. These are clogged sebaceous glands that become noticeable as cysts on the skin. You can find out below whether a visit to the vet is necessary or whether the small bumps on the skin are harmless.

So that the skin does not dry out, it is regularly greased with sebum. The so-called sebaceous glands produce the lubricant and continuously release it to the outside. The glands can occasionally become clogged with dead skin cells or dried sebum. As a result, the sebum is no longer distributed on the skin but collects in a capsule on the excretory duct of the gland – a grits bag is formed.

What are grit bags in dogs, and what do they look like?

So, sacs are accumulations of glandular secretions, dead skin cells, and fat that form a cyst. Other names for the skin bumps are semolina nodules, atheroma, sebaceous retention cyst, and follicular retention cyst. They can be as small as a mustard seed or as big as a hen’s egg. The cysts grow very slowly and are often not seen until they are more extensive.

The skin knots feel plump and firm but at the same time elastic. You can move the bumps back and forth on the skin. The clogged duct of the sebaceous gland may be visible as a small black dot on the grits bag. Very hairy parts of the body are particularly often affected by grits, for example, on the back or neck.

Are grits bags dangerous? When to go to the vet
The groats bag itself is harmless and can remain untreated as long as it does not bother your dog. However, huge cysts or atheromas on unfavorable body parts (neck or elbows) can become uncomfortable for your dog. Grit sacs can also become infected, resembling an abscess. In either case, it’s best to take your dog to the vet as soon as possible for surgical removal of the lump.

Important! Never try to pop the semolina knots yourself. This can cause dangerous inflammation, and the pressure may spread the bacteria throughout the body. Only have a veterinarian remove the groats.

If you are unsure whether a lump of skin is a grits bag, it is better to take your dog to the vet. He can examine your dog and see if treatment is needed.

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